Monday, May 14, 2018

Back on the Medical Treadmill

Bill graduates from wound care

Bill graduated from the wound care unit. Now he has to have a cardiovascular test. Of course this will require a new authorization number from HealthNet, which is the outside agency of the VA providing services for veterans using private doctors and medical facilities. 

This morning I hit a Catch-22. I need the authorization number.  They called last week and gave me a phone number to call. I called this morning and I received this message "We're having technical difficulties, please call back later."  Of course they're having "technical difficulties."  

Folks, I am just exhausted jumping over all these hurdles just to get Bill his medical care that he is entitled too. I thought I had the authorization number (wound care) that would apply for this cardiovascular test. But HealthNet called me last week and said he needed a new authorization number. So I call and I encounter "technical difficulties."  I called the cardiovascular unit this morning and they told he "We're ready to go." I asked them if they had his authorization number and they said they did and read it to me.  It's the same number as for his wound care.  So now my question is do I keep this appointment tomorrow?  If we don't have a proper authorization number then we have to pay the bill ourselves.  We've already been stuck once with a bill. This for Bill's eye examination. There was an authorization number but I didn't have it and paid the bill.  Then I got the authorization number and called HealthNet.  But they wouldn't pay the bill because they didn't "back date" bills.  

I know this isn't one of my more interesting posts. In fact it is very boring but I just had to vent. My question is how would Bill handle this if I wasn't his caregiver?  Answer is he wouldn't. Wonder how many vets are in that situation?  


Paul said...

It's not boring at all. It gives a very interesting and detailed account of the hurdles that have to be cleared along the way to getting proper health care. I'd say Bill is very lucky to a "youngster " like yourself to help him negotiate the way. Slainte mhath.

Ur-spo said...

This madness happens in the private sector as well.

Practical Parsimony said...

It's not just the VA where things are so complicated that older people are overburdened. There are days when I am overwhelmed, especially when I am ill. I wonder when I am older, 71 now, how I will ever manage by myself.

nitewrit said...


How many in this situation? Many. Imagine it. Bill has you riding shotgun. Lot of homeless vets with no one.


WARPed said...

In our society, old people are 'throw aways.'

Thank God, Ron, there are old geezers like you (sorry!) who fight back!



Ron said...

I finally got through yesterday to HealthNet, the outside agency that the VA uses for the Veteran's Choice program. They found the mistake and are now correcting it. I now await for a new appointment to be set up. At times like this I too wonder who will navigate this Medical Maze when I am old and in need of help.

Ron said...

Dr. Spo,
I believe it!

Ron said...

Practical Parsimony,
I'm almost there myself. Every day I feel incrementally more overwhelmed. I feel myself slipping day by day. thankfully I have enough wherewithal to navigate this particular minefield.

Ron said...

Absolutely right Lar!

Ron said...

You're right, old people in our society are "throw aways" unless you're rich and well connected, which we aren't. Managing to hang on for now anyway.

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